Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Air Peace has announced the suspension of all its flight operations from Saturday as part of concerted efforts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, describing the move as in Nigeria’s best interest.
In a statement signed by its Chief Operating Officer, Mrs Toyin Olajide, Air Peace said:
“It is with a great sense of responsibility that we have decided, in the best interest of our nation, our passengers and workforce, to suspend scheduled flight operations for 23 days effective 23.00hrs on Friday (an hour before Saturday morning) the 27th day of March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This difficult decision was reached in order to, not only, support the efforts of the Federal Government and other stakeholders in curbing the spread of this virus in our nation but also to protect our teeming passengers and our staff from becoming victims of the pandemic.”
The airline said that passenger traffic in the last three weeks had slumped drastically as a result of the pandemic, so it is unwise to continue raking up avoidable costs that the airline could ill afford.
“Continuation of flight operations in the present circumstances we find ourselves as airlines could lead to the total collapse of any airline hence the need to quickly stem the rising financial burden and costs of operations.
“While the suspension is on, we are, however, willing to do special flights both for the government and our people. Normal scheduled flight operations shall resume on April 20, 2020. We regret any inconvenience this decision may have caused our teeming passengers,” the airline’s statement read.
Yesterday, Aero Contractors had suspended its operations in the interest of safety, as well as Ibom Air reducing its capacity by 36 per cent as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis worsens.